As an F-1 or J-1 international student, you do not need a social security number unless you are engaging in employment. If you are engaging in employment through one of the following you are eligible to apply for a social security number:
The Social Security Administration checks your legal status in the USCIS S.A.V.E. database. Sometimes the database does not show a person's status immediately. Most applicants receive a receipt for their application the day that they visit the office and the social security card with the number in the mail in a few weeks. To locate the Social Security Administration office nearest you, go to www.ssa.gov and click on the "find your nearest Social Security office" link as the bottom of the page.
Taxes are due each April. All international students are responsible for filing a tax return each year, even if you have not had any employment.
J-1 students that are sponsored by a third party (Fulbright, AmidEast, AmericanCouncils, etc) should check with their sponsors regarding taxes.
In regards to International Taxes for employees, student employees, and certain recipients of scholarships, there are specific tax burdens that are required for these individuals. If you are an employee of the university you will need to meet with the International Tax Specialist or contact them if you have questions.
Contact the International Tax Specialist (Only for employeees of the University)
If you are a scholarship recipient, there are certain circumstances where you may owe or be charged taxes. You can find this informaiton on the International Tax Overview.